Psychological Studies

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 21–29 | Cite as

Stress Response and Appetite Regulation in Overweight and Normal-Weight Young Men: Preliminary Data

  • Irene Cano-LópezEmail author
  • Beatriz Cano-López
  • Vanesa Hidalgo
  • Alicia Salvador
  • Esperanza González-Bono
Research in Progress


Stress has been related to alterations in eating behavior, but only a few studies have been focused on how overweight can modulate the way individuals cope with stress, including appetite and food preference assessment. Our study examines the differences in psychological, hormonal, and cardiovascular response to acute stress between young healthy men with overweight and with normal-weight, in comparison with a control situation. After experimental manipulation, the motivational drivers to different types of food were evaluated using a picture choice task. Results suggest that men with overweight show a buffered stress response of salivary cortisol and lower recovery in heart rate variability with respect to normal-weight participants. Additionally, stress favored an appetite for high-fat sweet aliments, but only in the normal-weight men, and not in participants with overweight. The results also suggest a loop between stress and food appetite, with men with overweight showing a deficit in adaptive coping with acute stress and changes in appetite for high-fat sweet aliments after stress. Further research is needed to confirm whether certain profiles of stress response can be considered as early signs of obesity risk from a preventive view.


Overweight Appetite regulation Stress response Cortisol Men 



This work was supported by the Generalitat Valenciana under Grant [number PROMETEOII/2015/020]; the University of Valencia under Grant [number UV-INV-AE15–349947]; and the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities under Grant [number FPU14/00471]. The authors are very grateful to John Rawlins for the revision of English style and grammar.


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IDOCAL/Department of Psychobiology, Psychology CenterUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Sociology, Area of Psychobiology, Social and Human Sciences CenterUniversity of ZaragozaTeruelSpain

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